Well two really, but it’s a start.
The idea for today’s offering came when I walked past an iron bollard, and it reminded me of an interesting fact about that particular type of street furniture that I learned some years back.
The traditional bollard design derives from early types which were made from the barrel of a cannon topped by a cannonball – obvious once you know:
There are also examples of just cannons – not topped by a ball – being used as bollards. Most were probably discarded navy ordnance, but some were said to have been made from captured French ships during the Napoleonic wars. Later, non-cannon bollards were made to the same pattern, so it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference without research.
The other use for a cannonball is in a completely different area altogether. I try to keep fit, but I’ve got a low boredom threshold so I prefer short, concentrated workouts to spending hours running or in the gym. Thus, I quickly became a fan of a type of exercise that is said to originate from simply welding a handle onto a cannonball – now known as the kettlebell. A twenty minute session throwing one of those things around is guaranteed to get the heart going! They’ve become sleeker and more aesthetically modern now, but pictures of the earliest ones make their origins more obvious, as I demonstrate by taking this picture using the self-timer setting on my camera: